Local utilities provider Utilities Kingston is warning customers to beware of phone calls demanding immediate payment for utilities.
According to Utilities Kingston, these calls are a scam, which has targeted the customers of Utilities Kingston as well as other utilities companies across Ontario. Customers have reported receiving phone calls from scammers, asking them to call a 1-800 number that the callers misrepresent, claiming it is associated with Utilities Kingston. The customers contacted by the scammers are then threatened with having their utilities services disconnected if they do not provide payment immediately using Bitcoin, a popular cryptocurrency (electronic currency).
“In the most recent reported case, the scammers instructed a customer to make a payment at a local mall by Bitcoin,” Utilities Kingston said in a press release on Monday, Mar. 18, 2019.
If you receive a suspicious call, Utilities Kingston suggests the following:
- Do not provide any personal information including Utilities Kingston or credit card account numbers.
- Collect any information possible about the caller.
- Report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. This agency collects information on fraud and works closely with police to solve these crimes.
- If you become a victim of fraud through monetary loss, call Kingston Police at 613-549-4660.
“Utilities Kingston does not place calls from, or solicit calls to, a 1-800 number. Those with overdue accounts receive multiple notices prior to any disconnection and Utilities Kingston always delivers a Final Notice prior to any disconnection. Utilities Kingston requests overdue accounts be paid at City Hall, via Paymentus, its third-party credit card payment provider, or by contacting credit and collections at 613-546-1181, extension 2278,” the press release said.